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Howard E. Freeman; UCLA Sociologist

Howard E. Freeman, a sociologist whose research ranged from how best to resettle the mentally ill in their homes to the competency of physicians treating AIDS patients, is dead. He was 63.

A spokesman for UCLA, where Freeman was chairman of the sociology department from 1986 to 1989, said Monday that the internationally known author, scholar and teacher died last Wednesday of a stroke.

The student newspaper Daily Bruin reported that he was returning to Los Angeles from a business trip in Washington when he was stricken.

He received his doctoral degree from New York University. He began teaching at Brandeis University in 1960, and during his career published more than 100 articles and monographs dealing with health and mental health. He observed and wrote of the post-hospital experiences of mental patients, on policy in health care and in other allied fields.

He conducted surveys to ascertain the public mood toward criminals who were facing trials, helping to determine trial dates, sites and jury selection.

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In 1987, he led a survey that showed President Ronald Reagan’s “safety net” programs for health care failed badly among the poor who lacked almost any kind of access to treatment.

Freeman was a research adviser for the World Health Organization and the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama of the Pan American Health Organization.

He was co-editor of the Handbook of Medical Sociology, now in its fourth edition, and co-editor of Evaluation Review, a leading journal in his field. Freeman was considered a pioneer in the teaching of evaluation research, applied sociology and health care services.

His book “The Mental Patient Comes Home” was awarded the Hofheimer Prize by the American Psychiatric Assn. for the best book on behavior published between 1960-63. Last year, he was given the Myrdal Award for Evaluation Practice from the American Evaluation Assn.

With Peter H. Rossi, he wrote “Evaluation: A Systematic Approach,” which is in its fifth edition and is used in several hundred social program evaluation courses each year.

Survivors include his wife, Marian Solomon, who worked with him on several publications, two children, Lisa and Seth, his mother, Rose Freeman, and sister, Ruby Salzman, both of Riveredge, N.J. A memorial fund in his name has been established through the UCLA Foundation, Department of Sociology, 234 Haines Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles 90024.


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